Bakkt, with a New Valuation, Continues to Hurdle Toward Reality Amid Questions


The new Bakkt exchange that has been so long awaited in the cryptocurrency world is getting a big valuation of $740 million dollars, Cointelegraph reports today.

Writer William Suberg cites $180 million in funding raised by the exchange’s backers last year and says that exchange leaders “continue to liaise with regulators.”

However, none of that means a whole lot to those who have an ear to the ground on crypto and really want to see what Bakkt is going to offer. There’s scant news on that score, since there’s not a lot of advance information on exactly what the platform will look like.

Another wrinkle in the Bakkt plan that analysts are talking about is return on investment.

“Bakkt, which has yet to launch any investment products … could increase its valuation even further should it raise further funds,” Suberg writes. “At the same time, the sources said questions among investors remained about their risk-return ratio, given Bakkt has yet to get the official go-ahead to launch and will operate on different terms from traditional platforms.”

But in addition to questions about actual returns for shareholders, all kinds of other questions are swirling around rumors of the Bakkt exchange which has continuously delayed its launch and doesn’t really provide a lot of information about its nature.

One of the biggest rumors revolves around the relationship between Bakkt and Starbucks.

Bakkt, the New York Stock Exchange’s (NYSE) forthcoming cryptocurrency trading platform, will — in fact — feature Starbucks payments for users,” wrote Esther Kim March 5 in Bitcoinist. This is according to an anonymous source familiar with a deal between Bakkt and its early-stage partner, which will see the latter accept the service in payment for its in-store products. The source was speaking to cryptocurrency news publication The Block and the information was subsequently confirmed by the publication’s founder, Mike Dudas, on social media.

Kim explained the background that has many analysts and others confused.

“At the time Bakkt first became public knowledge in August 2018, the coffee giant caused a stir as a major ally of the project, BB wrote, “which also has backing from Microsoft. Shortly afterward, however, Starbucks denied any suggestions that Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency payments could become a reality for customers.”

As far back as October 2018, people were talking about vague language in press releases around Bakkt.

“ to Microsoft and Starbucks, combined with disconnects between Wall Street-speak and crypto-speak, led to confusing headlines and forum discussions,” wrote Christopher Casper in CoinIQ at the time. “Will Bakkt be yet another crypto exchange like Binance and Kraken? How will FedEx deliver my physical bitcoins? Will the floodgates open and send bitcoin prices back into the stratosphere?”

This year, as we continue to wait for actual concrete news of a Bakkt launch with a vague target date around the first half of this year, speculation and rumor continue to persist:

“Even with the delays in the proposed launch, a lot of speculation is currently ongoing in the cryptosphere as to the veracity with which Bakkt would affect the existing market,” writes A Kingxy at Bitcoin Exchange Guide Feb. 14 (italics ours).  “With the support and partnership from major finally brokers and the aim to make Bakkt exchange a platform with the first physically delivered bitcoin futures and warehouse, subject to regulatory review and approval. This will enable access for institutional investors via regulated market infrastructure. Should this milestone be reached, it can be a viable replacement to credit cards. The Bakkt future trading would provide a centralized marketplace for participants to trade based on their view of bitcoin prices, gain exposure to bitcoin prices or hedge their existing bitcoin positions and as such, more control would be in the hands of traders.”

Cryptocurrency investors who are paying attention are on the edge of their seats for Bakkt to announce more tangible information and actionable news soon.